A time of rebirth


Hello my fellow travellers I hope you are all keeping well.

I want to start my working with the Wheel of the Year at Samhain, it might seem weird but stick with me for as we may already know, back in the day Samhain was considered to be the Pagan new year especially amonst the Druids.

I will be looking at all of the sabbats in order working my way around the Wheel talking about each festival, the folk lore behind it, aspects of each festival like herbs associated with it, crystals (though I'm still learning about those myself) which tree of the Ogham is represented by the festval as well as ideas for the altar and recipes traditional to make at these times.


This festival usually falls around the 30th October to the 2nd November, as I have said it represents the ending of the year in readiness to start the new, its a period of rest, the fruits of the harvests have been gathered in and stored ready for the long winter months ahead. It is also a time for remembering the departed and the ancestors, this is the time of the year along with Beltain when the veil between the worlds is at it's thinnest, a time when our ancestors cross into our world again for one night to feast and make merry, to join with us again so we can welcome them back into our hearts and minds so as to never forget them, they are our past, one we need to remember and we are their future.

To the ancient Celts Samhain was considered the most important of the four fire festivals, it was at this time of the year that all the families allowed their hearth fires to die down and go out, the hearth would lay cold ready for a new start. The local Druid would set a fire for the village at which time the villagers would make offerings, say prayers and make sacrifices all related to their needs for this time of the year. From this sacred fire the villagers would all take a light and return back to their homes to relight their hearth fires with it. This would symbolise the new beginning, to light their fires by any other means would be considered bad luck. Samhain is also the time when the wild hunt is led by the horned god Cernunnos.

The following quote gives a sense of the Samhain ritual (based on the ritual by OBOD) "it is during this time that the last of the leaves are blown from the trees, that the ground becomes frozen and cold. Like an egg, or a womb, the Cailleach (known also as the Crone) gives the land and us time to rest, to dream, so that in the springtime, the land and her peoples may awaken anew. She is nothing to fear - she is but part of the cycle that the lands, and that we humans live in the course of our lives. She walks in the space between worlds, to our land. This gives a sense of what the festival is all about.


Working with herbs was part of the Druid way, this was picked up during the Ovate stage of my journey. Herbs were used for medicinal purposes, in food and as offerings. For each spoke of the wheel I will give an short list of herbs associated with this festival and a brief idea of their uses. Don't worry there will not be a test at the end of this. A list of herbs are as follows, these are mainly associated with Samhain because of their earthy qualities. Care should always be taken when working with any herbs.

Calendula - associated with Protection, legal matters, psychic/spiritual powers

Marigold - associated with Respect, admiration, good luck in court, good for all legal matters

Chrysanthemum - associated with Protection

Rosemary - Used in healing poppets for good health, in love/lust spells, worn to aid memory, used in pillows to prevent nightmares, burned as incense for purification. Healing, protection, purification, strength, memory, stress relief, mental clarity

Mugwort - Associated with the Increases in lust and fertility, cures madness. Placed around divination tools to increase their power

Wormwood - Removes anger, inhibits violent acts, protects against evil eye. Carry in a vehicle to protect against accidents


Crystals are another thing that some people choose to use/work with, as with everything on my Druid journey I look at things and see if it is something I would like to work with or not everyones journey is their own there is no right or wrong way, as we have a very sketchy background in the world of the ancient Druid alot is based on the ideas that Druids work with and embrace nature, crystals come into this area as they are formed in nature and hence could easily have been used by our ancestors, thats how I look at it anyway. I have picked six crystals that link closely to Samhain and these are

  1. Jasper - nurturing crystals that can help you feel more connected to the earth and its never-ending cycles
  2. Calcite - a useful stone for cleansing personal energies as well as our homes and work environments.
  3. Obsidian - It tends to be a fast-acting crystal that is powerful in exposing weaknesses, flaws, and blockages. This powerful crystal supports us while encouraging growth.
  4. Carnelian - a stabilising stone that is great at restoring motivation and creativity. In ancient times, carnelian was used to protect the dead on their journey into the afterlife.
  5. Sunstone - can be used to bring light, joy, and sweetness to life as it has traditionally been linked to good fortune.
  6. Opal - good for stimulating creativity and the creation of original ideas, and it helps us express our true feelings and self.

Crystals are an area I am just starting to look at on my journey, the more I learn about these the more I will share with you as my journey continues.


The celtic tree alphabet, Ogham is its own language, written, it can be seen in ancient stones. It has a link with the Celts, I have been studying Ogham since the start of my Druid journey due to its association with trees and obviously my love of trees. It is again a very interesting subject which I will go into more detail on another blog, it is too big a subject to condense to be honest. Because of where Samhain falls on the calender there are two trees/plants associated with it within the Ogham.

The first is Ivy, the Celtic Ogham name for this is Gort (roughly pronounced Go-ert) Ivy often lives on after its host has died which serves as a reminder to us about the endless circle of life, death and rebirth

The second is Reed, the Celtic Ogham name for this is Negetal (roughly pronounced Nyettle), this is most often used in the making of wind instruments, it was around the time of Samhain when its blowing in the wind producing a haunting sound, the ancient people thought of it as the souls of the dead being summoned to the underworld.


These again are a matter of personal taste, some people like and have altars some prefer not to have one, again this is entirely up to you, I have two, I have one indoors in the spare room that I keep as a permanent thing, a place to sit away from the elements if it is really bad, I also have an outdoor altar, this is a stump of an old tree, this is where I tend to or stand most mornings when I do my daily rituals, it is a place to honour Mother Nature, it is a free area for wildlife to sit, it is ever growing and maintains life all year long. When looking at an altar for Samhain we look at what the festival refers to, so we can place upon it, pictures or items of someone departed whether it be a human person or one of our animal people, we can also use fallen leaves, fruits, berries or nuts to adorn it, again it is a matter of personal preference. we can also place a symbol for a deity we work with. I will leave this one up to you.

I have covered most things physical now I think, recipes, well again it is entirely up to you, but this time of year we look at things containing apples, and fruits, bread from the grain of the last harvest made to keep us going through the long winter months. I was thinking I might add a new page purely dedicated to old recipes, I'll give that some thought.

Working with this part of the Wheel

When we look at working with this part of the wheel we have to think about what it means and its relation as a whole to the rest of the wheel. When we look at the world outside we see the leaves falling from the trees, they do this because now is the time they are no longer needed, this is when we look at ourselves and our own lives and see what we can also let go of, we do this, just as the trees, to make way for new growth. If there is something that has been bugging us we can determine that this may be the time to let it go and concentrate on something else, you dont have to let go of it permanently, but it could be holding you back from moving on. It is also a time for working with our ancestors, helping us to move forward into the winter months nurturing their memories.

This is a time for a good clean of the house, getting rid of unwanted clutter, cleaning away the dust and debris of the past year ready to move onto the new year. It is a good time to perform a house cleansing ritual or a house blessing. Whatever you decide to do make it a decision that you can stick too, a bit like a new years resolution, after all this is the pagan new year. I will add a House blessing to the Rituals page if you would like.

I have been looking at this, as just an outline of this time of year, and I hope you have enjoyed reading it, I will be taking each of the main festivals and cross quarter festivals as they come so hopefully we can all start to appreciate the old ways and maybe bring some life back into them in this crazy modern world we live in.

As always I will end on one of my poems, I have been thinking about this and I have found one that I think takes the death element into account in a nice way, its called "Lovers Moon" I hope you enjoy it.



The moon doth shine so soft and bright

Casting shadows on the night

Beneath a couple arm in arm

Stand pondering its magical charm

A gentle wind blows through the trees

As they slowly lower to their knees

As they lay together on the ground

And moving close their two hearts pound

They embrace and hold each other tight

As they bathe in this celestial light

Then joined together two as one

They sleep until the rising sun

Then as the dawn begins to break

The couple slowly start to wake

For to their graves they must go soon

To wait until the next full moon


As always my friends thank you for bearing with me, I hope you find this interesting, let me know if you want to.

Take care my friends, stay safe

Blessed be /|\